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Although much is known about factors associated with depression and anxiety among HIV-positive gay men, little is known about factors associated with positive mental health.Such knowledge can be useful for optimizing well-being support programs for HIV-positive gay men.However, researchers have so far focused mostly on mental illness; only a small number of studies have examined aspects of positive mental health, such as a sense of meaning, optimism, and regular experiences of positive affect.
Identifying ways in which HIV-positive gay men may be supported to withstand or overcome the potential impact of stigma is therefore an important objective.
We know of no published studies that have examined the experience of flourishing more broadly or that have used a standardized measure of flourishing among HIV-positive gay men.
Some studies, however, have examined some specific aspects of flourishing.
To help build this evidence base, we examined flourishing in a national community-based sample of HIV-positive Australian gay men, with the specific aim of identifying a range of psychosocial and demographic factors associated with flourishing using a standard measure of flourishing. Sexual identity was assessed by asking men whether they identified as ‘straight or heterosexual’, ‘gay or homosexual’, ‘bisexual’, or ‘other’.
Only the responses from the 357 gay-identified men were sampled for this study. The FS consists of eight items assessing the main components of flourishing or social-psychological functions.
Examples of items include “I lead a purposeful and meaningful life” (eudemonic component) and “I am optimistic about the future” (hedonic component).